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Sexual Revolution

In the early to mid 1900’s a cultural movement called the sexual revolution began. People developed a belief in peace, unity, and most importantly: free love. The idea of free love expanded into the acceptance of sexuality in our society today, in both good and poor ways. This development completely blew away the earlier ideas of sexuality, paving new roads for interpersonal relationships today.

The term “sexual revolution” refers to the change in society’s views on sex. This wording dates back to Freud’s writing in the 1920’s, but sped up in the ’60’s when pornography became widely accessible and nearly acceptable. The birth control pill, or “The Pill”, developed in the 1960’s. This lessened the risk of impregnating women, and changed the outlook of intercourse being merely for procreation.

In ’40’s and ’50’s Kinsley, a scientific researcher, published two surveys on the sexuality of the human male and female. In the ’60’s, the Supreme Court overturned bans on three well known “smut” novels, or books with erotic content. People were able to publish “sex manuals”, or nonfiction books based on the sexuality of humans. Condoms were first produced in 1916, but were not very reliable. With the wide availability of contraception, sex became a recurring theme in single men and women.

The hippie movement, or the counterculture as it is commonly called, encouraged free love and the beauty of sex. Time Magazine, in an article on hippies, declared: “Do your own thing, where you have to do it and whenever you want. Drop out. Leave society as you have known it. Leave it utterly. Blow the mind of every straight person you can reach. Turn them on, if not to drugs, then to beauty, love, honesty, fun.” Teenagers and young adults embraced the idea of carefree living, and ran with it. In the 1970’s colleges offered co-educational housing.

In 1951, Swedish filmmakers produced a film called “Hon Dansade en Sommar” which, translated, means “She Danced a Summer”. This filmed showed what at the time was considered rampant sexuality, but nowadays would be considered mild. This, and other films of the same content, led to the filming of pornography and the widespread popularity of the Playboy Bunnies. Also, this led to the popularity of strip-teases and lap-dances in bars, and gentlemen’s clubs.

By the 1970’s, the majority of newlywed couples did not marry virgins. This was influenced by the wide availability of sex and sexual content, and the accessibility of contraceptives. Birth control allowed people to have intercourse without worrying about an unwanted pregnancy. People fought for nudist beaches, and the right to bathe topless on public beaches also. Teenagers fought for their right to have sex. Sexuality as a whole rampaged across the globe, but especially in America and Europe.

Today it is a challenge to find song lyrics without an association to intercourse or without explicit content. Nearly all PG-13, or even PG, rated movies have some sexual content or more. Pornography is easily accessible, with only the click of a mouse button to access it online. Also, “tips and tricks” for sex can be found online too. People make explicit comments in passing, and sexual education has become a necessity in all public school systems as early as 4th grade for most, and some even earlier. Teenage pregnancies and promiscuity is prominent in all school systems, our own school having three pregnant young ladies. The majority of students in school systems are not opposed to the idea of having sex. Sex has become a symbol of devoted love for a partner, and a necessity in close relationships.

Racy comments are made on supposedly “safe” public networking sites such as Facebook. Most all young adult books have references to sexual content. Libraries have “smut” novels available to most all ages, and if you can’t find them at a library, most children can find them at home. People often say that the hippies were crazed sexual fiends, but we seem just as bad. The common American couple is expected to make out in the backseat of the car, and to find privacy in the back of a darkened movie theatre.

All you have to do is open your eyes to see how much the free love movement and the sexual revolution ideas are still active in today’s society. The children’s chant “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage” is no longer accurate, because now everybody is doing everything out of order. Although the fee love movement led to more independence for women, and more sexual freedom, it also led to the spread of STDs and skyrocketed pregnancy rates. If the sexual revolution had been used correctly, however, it could have created a wonderful new world to live in and be free.



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